07 Nov 2012

Australia arrive with weakened squad


AUSTRALIA have arrived with an inexperienced squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup but that will not stop them from making an impact on the tournament which starts on Sunday at Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Bahru.


With the team having reached the final in last year's inaugural edition, Australia coach Paul Gaudoin wants the best from his players.

Only six players -- Jeremy Hayward, Flynn Ogilvie, Kane Posselt, Tyler Cowley, Luke Noblett and Dylan Wotherspoon -- from last year's squad who lost 3-2 to Malaysia in the final, have been retained.

With five-time world junior champions Germany, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and Malaysia also in the fray, Gaudoin, a national team assistant coach to Ric Charlesworth, said his team cannot afford to under-perform if they want to make the final.

"Germany, who have a strong tradition in junior hockey, having won the world title five times, will be the strongest side here," said Gaudoin yesterday.

"I hope to utilise the six experienced players from last year's squad to guide the rest who have not had much international exposure."

Despite the team having trained only for a week, Australia will still be a tough nut to crack.

In last year's tournament, they made the final without even having one training session together prior to the event.

"We have very good players and the seven-day training session has helped us play as a unit," Gaudoin added.

Australia open their campaign against India on Sunday.

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